Totovents, Vaan Oganesovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Totovents, Vaan Oganesovich


Born 1894 in the village of Mezire, West Armenia (Turkey); died 1937. Soviet Armenian writer.

In 1908, Totovents went to the USA, and in 1915 he graduated with a degree in history and philology from the University of Wisconsin. He moved to Yerevan in 1922. Totovents published his first works in 1907. His satirical novel Doctor Burbonian (1918; published 1923) and his comedy Death Battalion (1923) ridiculed bourgeois nationalists. The revolutionary struggle of the working class was dealt with in the short story “In the Storm” (1922), the play Conflagration (1927), and the novel Baku (vols. 1–3, 1930–34). The novella New York in the collection of stories America (1929) unmasked the vices of the capitalist world. The shaping of the character of Soviet man was the main theme of the novella Burned Papers (1934) and the play The Hearth (1936).

Totovents’ writing has greatly influenced the development of Soviet Armenian literature, in particular his numerous works of short fiction, the autobiographical novella Life on the Old Roman Road (1930), and the novella Ovnatan, Son of Eremita (1936).


T’ot’ovents, V. H. Erker. Yerevan, 1957.
Kapuyt tsaghikner. [Patmvatsener.] Yerevan, 1972.
In Russian translation:
Zhizn’ na staroi rimskoi doroge: Povesti i rasskazy. Moscow, 1970.


Istoriia armianskoisovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1966. Pages 146–49.
Manoukyan, S. A. Vahan T’ot’ovents. Yerevan, 1959.
Arzoumanyan, S. H. Vahan T’ot’ovents. Yerevan, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.